Sidmouth bags tasty scores in food hygiene ratings

AROUND 100 Sidmouth eateries were served up tasty scores when food standards inspectors visited their premises.

Residents hoping to celebrate Christmas by dining out during the festive season have been urged to not only check out a pub or restaurant’s menu – but its hygiene rating as well.

East Devon District Council (EDDC) adopted the Food Standards Agency (FSA) initiative earlier this year for permanent catering establishments, and mobile food retailers are set to follow.

Restaurants, pubs and hotels -as well as cafes, takeaways and other places that sell or serve food - are now rated from zero, where it is deemed urgent improvement is necessary, to five, very good, on their hygiene standards when an inspection is carried out by EDDC officers.

Scores for around 100 eateries, including schools and residential and nursing homes, in the Sidmouth area range from three - generally satisfactory - to the top score of five.

More than half of them landed the maximum rating.

Twenty businesses in Ottery St Mary are also listed, as are premises across the region.

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Christmas party goers can look out for green and black stickers displayed by businesses telling their customers the rating they were given.

Catriona Stewart, head of the ratings team at the FSA, added: “This is all about putting the consumer first, supplying people with useful information on which to base their choice of where to eat. It means that when you eat out - be it in the area you live or further away - you can easily compare hygiene standards of different food outlets.”

Of the 536 premises inspected in East Devon since April 1 this year, 297 have been rated as five.

FSA research has shown nearly 17 million people suffer from stomach upsets in the UK every year with scores more going unreported.

Check out ratings by visiting .